File photo by Monica Zalaznik/My Buckhannon

Donut Shop property owner ‘committed to continuing business as usual’

BUCKHANNON — The ongoing saga regarding the possible closure of the Donut Shop took a new turn Friday morning when the owner of the property said she was committing to continuing business as usual at the Buckhannon landmark.

Rumors of a potential closure began circulating on social media earlier this week, and both local TV news stations reported Thursday that the business would be closing permanently. However, the owner of the property, Sherree Martin, said Friday that the eatery would remain open with a new operator.

“The Donut Shop in Buckhannon, West Virginia is an institution with a long legacy,” Martin said in a short press release Friday. “I am committed to continuing business as usual, with a new operator in place shortly to continue the tradition.”

While Martin owns the building itself, the Donut Shop business is owned by two brothers who live out of state. According to an obituary from Poling-St. Clair Funeral Home, Richard Comegys was the owner and operator of the Donut Shop until his death in 2013 at the age of 64. His brothers, John and George Comegys, now own the business, according to state business records. Both of their addresses are listed in Maryland.

The Comegys have not responded to phone and email inquiries from My Buckhannon or local legislators.

Leading up to Friday’s news, Del. Carl “Robbie” Martin, R-45, posted a press release on his Facebook page saying he and his brother Sen. Patrick Martin, R-12, as well as Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner, were actively searching for a resolution that would result in the beloved bakery-restaurant staying open.

“My aunt, Sherree has full control – not my brother or father or I – and we want to make sure people understand that,” he said Friday morning. “We’re trying to work with the mayor to find a solution. The Donut Shop is near and dear to the hearts of myself and my father and my brother. I remember going to the Donut Shop in college to hang out and when I first got my driver’s license going there with friends to hang out.”

Martin said he and Skinner, in particular, have been inundated with calls from disappointed and heartbroken residents over the past two days.

“I’ve probably gotten more calls about this since the news came out than about any other issue over the course of the four years I’ve been in Charleston,” he said. “There are a few things Buckhannon is known for and the Donut Shop definitely is Buckhannon.”

If he had to pick his favorite pastry from the Donut Shop, Martin said he’d opt for a double chocolate donut every time.

In the press release issued Thursday, Skinner said city officials are eager to pitch in to help.

“Like many in our community and beyond, we are heartsick,” Skinner said. “The Donut Shop has been a staple in Buckhannon for decades. Folks far and wide associate Buckhannon with The Donut Shop. It’s woven into the fabric of our culture here. We are doing everything we can to find a solution that keeps this critically important business in our community.”

When contacted by phone Friday, Sherree Martin confirmed she’s owned the property, building and equipment since 2013 and reiterated that she’s searching for a new operator.

“Yes, we are working on that premise,” she said.

Martin declined to comment on who currently owns The Donut Shop’s legendary pastry recipes and said she hadn’t yet worked out a timeline for the eatery’s reopening.

“I will put out a press release regarding a timeline for reopening in the future,” she said.

Read the original My Buckhannon story here.

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